Babson Park Resident Narrowly Escapes House Fire
Polk County Firefighters Rescued Victim as Mobile Home Burned
Last updated 6/4/2023 at 11:58am
A fire in a mobile home in a remote location nearly took the life of a Polk County resident early Sunday.
Polk County Fire Rescue firefighters responded to 2:20 am medical call in Babson Park that was quickly escalated into a structure fire with a trapped victim.
Rescuers responding to 1562 Pfundstein Road, southeast of Babson Park, found a mobile home in flames, and at least one resident who had managed to flee the structure with injuries. After unsuccessfully attempting to gain entry through the front door, firefighters went to a window where they removed plywood and glass, "only to be confronted with items stacked from the floor to the ceiling," Jeff Foley, Polk County spokesperson, reported.
Firefighters then located an additional victim who was trapped with their head protruding from a bathroom window.
"Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the squad captain provided the victim with a breathing mask to alleviate their immediate need for fresh air," Polk County Fire and Rescue reported. They then utilized specialized tools to create a larger opening around the limited space surrounding the bathroom window, successfully rescuing the victim within nine minutes of the arrival of the first PCFR units.
After search efforts, PCFR crews transitioned to an aggressive interior fire attack and were able to extinguish the fire.
According to the report from PCFR, an unidentified number of victims "were airlifted to local trauma centers."
"The timely response, meticulous execution on the fireground, and steadfast commitment to public safety demonstrated by the team exemplify the core values of PCFR," said Polk County Fire Chief Hezedean A. Smith, D.M.
In 2022, PCFR responded to approximately 1,300 structure fires, with 25% of these incidents being classified as Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health.
"I'm proud of the dedication and readiness exhibited by PCFR members in addressing all hazards within Polk County's expansive jurisdiction," Dr. Smith said.